Three Stars of the Game
Background: After each National Hockey League game — the local media votes for the ‘Three Stars of the Game’ — basically the Man of the Match — but as a treble!
First Star: Nicky Clark – in less then a half hour on the pitch, Clark had a bigger impact then the entire first eleven players listed on Ally McCoist’s incoherent team sheet. Clark actually came on & played in his natural position (a novel concept) & scored upon entering for the injured Ian Black. He was able to bring life & energy to a dreary match. By slotting into a forward role, Clark brought a focal point to Rangers attack, as Jon Daly finally had a partner to play off of. The positives didn’t last long, but there was a good five minutes when the Rangers attack actually looked competent.
Second Star: Fraser Aird – did he play well? Not really. Did you forget he was on the pitch for the middle 60 minutes of the game? Certainly, but did he score? Well, yeah — so there you go. In a performance that once again highlighted Ally McCoist’s inability to institute a structured approach to breaking down a stacked defence nor provide the players with a tangible reason to assert themselves – Aird sticks out as a positive for his opportune goal off of an unfortunate Brechin bounce. His all around performance was below average at best.
Third Star: Sebastien Faure – watching Faure come on for the injured Nicky Law was symbolic of everything that can frustrate you about McCoist’s approach this season. There are 54 points separating the two sides in the league table, the league is won, fans have been promised to see more youngsters in the line-up & Ally brings in a second holding midfielder to the match? With Rangers already winning & that new midfielder actually is a center back? Why not bring on Robbie Crawford? Even Arnold Peralta would have been suffice. Faure struggled for much of the match, as the vaunted collection of Brechin midfielders dictated the play from the center of the park & completely stalled any hopes of Rangers controlling the flow of play. Faure did get more comfortable as the match went on & deserves credit for being the point person on Nicky Clark’s goal – spraying the ball out to Daly who set up the go-ahead tally. Faure also should be acknowledged for his flexibility this season, as he has only played a handful of games in his natural position during his two years at Ibrox.
Richard Foster wasn’t bad & I really wanted to include this photo with the hedge.
Dean Shiels got paid today to play football. Really, he did. The fact that he was pointless at best, horrible at worst makes you truly question the construction of this team as it ‘prepares’ for next season in the Scottish Championship…Callum Gallagher’s impact on the match was minimal as he was completely wasted on the right side of midfield. He did make attempts to be aggressive & carry the play but had little support from those around him. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Gallagher a forward? So that’s why he’s started games two in a row, crow-barred into the midfield….because that worked so well with Andy Little? OK, that makes sense…..The Bilel Mohsni adventure goes on as he continued his habit of turning the ball over constantly out of the back whilst mugging for the crowd & for the cameras. Even though he was strong again in the air, he was beaten to the ball on Brechin’s goal. It’s a little nerve-wracking to think of Mohsni being relied upon to be rock steady vs. Raith Rovers & Dundee United. His calamity may become brighter under the spotlight of those momentous cup-ties….Jon Daly was once again ineffective whilst left alone up top. His lack of pace & his inability to get involved in the flow of play unless the ball is hurled up to him in the box left him isolated on an island as the midfield struggled to gain control of the match. Notice he did come to life almost immediately after Nicky Clark was thrust onto the field as he made a great pass on the assist of Clark’s goal. Like Gallagher, it is difficult to blame Daly for has poor play – he’s put into a position to fail rather then succeed due to decisions made by the manager.